While not personally attending the last edition of the Chocoa Festival in Amsterdam held last February—falling in the pre-coronavirus outbreak—one of the speakers presenting at the ‘Chocolate Makers Forum’ seemed to raise public interest for its philosophy in approaching chocolate.
Ewald Rietberg, an oenologist, founded in 2018 with his longtime friend Jan-Willem Jekel, a pastry enthusiast, Heinde & Verre, a new small-batch fine chocolate reality in Rotterdam, that has already earned international praise from respectable voices.
(See two articles and a video by Newzealander craft chocolate retailer Luke Owen Smith and American chocolate correspondent Clay Gordon:)
- The Chocolate Bar Interview 019: Heinde & Verre
- The Chocolate Life: Heinde & Verre—Chocolate Near and Far
- The Chocolate Wire Interview: Heinde & Verre
In particular, Gordon’s positive review of the multi-layered approach regarding origins, processes, and combinations of different ingredients intrigued me so much that I reached out to Ewald to work out how to try the chocolate.
With humility and timeliness, Ewald replied by delivering me three samples. A single-origin Brazil milk chocolate, a dark chocolate which is a blend of three cacao origins (Venezuela, Indonesia, Brazil), and a second milk chocolate which is made from the same trio of cacao origins and two types of dairy ingredients (whole milk and buttermilk.)
As I look forward to tasting the products received—and posting my honest impressions—let’s start by disclosing a few notes on the Heinde & Verre chocolate making philosophy.
Heinde & Verre means “near and far.” The name ties the Dutch tradition of cacao sourcing from distant exotic countries with the identity of premium national ingredients—the beet sugar and dairy are 100% Dutch.